There and Back Again

A Decade of Travel Tales

Non-Fiction - Travel
72 Pages
Reviewed on 06/06/2015
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

There and Back Again: A Decade of Travel Tales is a non-fiction collection written by Timothy Imhoff. Imhoff and his wife, Rachel Dietz, both love travelling, and they decided to get married while on a trip to Costa Rica. They arranged to be married on a remote beach overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The first section of this book describes their experiences getting to Costa Rica; travelling by ferry and car to the resort in Montezuma, where they would marry and stay. It concludes with their return anniversary trip to the same resort several years later. The second part of the book is an account of their travels in Africa beginning in 2012. Dan, the author's son, was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uganda and acted as their tour guide. They were able to interact with other Peace Corps Volunteers and learn about the projects the volunteers had designed for their villages. The African adventure included a stay at the foot of an active volcano and a visit with a family group of gorillas. The final part of There and Back Again describes trips and adventures Imhoff and his wife enjoyed in the United States.

Timothy Imhoff's non-fiction travel memoir, There and Back Again: A Decade of Travel Tales, is informative and entertaining. Rachel and the author are pleasant and adventurous travel companions, and I quickly became involved in their travels. I loved reading about their navigating the primitive roads in Costa Rica and the descriptions of the resort where they stayed. The African section of the book was inspired. Imhoff gives the reader a real feel for the places they visited and the people they interacted with. Their stay by the volcano and visit with the gorillas was fascinating and led me to search the internet for more information about Dian Fossey and her primate work. The couple's domestic adventures are equally entertaining to read about, especially their Halloween in Provincetown and nude run in a naturalist resort in Florida. The essential thing about travel memoirs, aside from the actual travel itself, is experiencing such a rapport with the author that his or her experiences feel shared, genuine and dynamic. Imhoff has that gift, and his travel stories are a delight to read. There and Back Again: A Decade of Travel Tales is highly recommended.

Roy T. James

There and Back Again by Timothy Imhoff is about adventures. The very first one happens when a travel hungry gentleman falls in love with his first date, who also is made for adventure. Adventures continue with the author’s trip to Costa Rica for a private wedding on a secluded beach on the Pacific Ocean, where their honeymoon is filled with exciting encounters with howler monkeys, followed by a visit to an active volcano, a rarity by any scale. Further adventures happen in succession; another trip to Costa Rica to celebrate their third wedding anniversary; one to Uganda, where they brush with crocodiles; and to Rwanda, where they learn to appear docile and stand still to avoid alerting passing mountain gorillas. Their adventures at home are more civil, like the visit to a nudist resort and taking part in a naked run! Or the trip to New England and how his next book is born from a page of the guest journal kept in a country inn.

There and Back Again by Timothy Imhoff is adventure at every turn of the page. It can also boast a short but very moving description of some of the most exciting parts of nature, like erupting volcanoes or angry white-faced monkeys. Many parts of the book, like the role of the Peace Corps in Africa, are informative to readers. It is certainly interesting to note that the author has selected for his journey places that Mr. Bilbo Baggins, his inspiration, would have frequented in the unseen and amazing book by his favorite author, J.R.R. Tolkien. A good book, and readers can benefit a lot from it.

Dr. Oliva Dsouza

There and Back Again: A Decade of Travel Tales by Timothy Imhoff is a collection of memoirs of the travels that Tim and his wife, Rachel, have undertaken over the years. The book starts with their adventure filled trip to Costa Rica. They tie the knot at a beautiful beach resort and then set out to explore the flora and fauna with some amazing and hilarious results. Their travels through Africa take them on another new experience where they not only learn about wildlife, but also about the wonderful work being done by the Peace Corps volunteers. The encounter with the mountain gorillas in Rwanda is the highlight of this trip and the crocodile adventure is worth a laugh. As their relationship blossoms and they continue to grow as a couple, their appetite for greater and better adventure seems to increase and they end up participating in the "Bare Dare" run as a part of their travels within the United States.

Timothy Imhoff has succeeded in writing a humorous, to the point book that is a cute little mix of romance and their travels. One can actually see Tim and Rachel's relationship evolve with their shared travels and experiences. They are truly blessed to have each other. There is a lot to learn from their trips, especially the "Peter and the Dictionary" story and of course, "Frozen in Muscatine on Christmas Eve" which is hilarious in hindsight. It really gives you a heads up on what not to do when the holidays are on and the weather is not really friendly. Overall, it is a great book that will help you make up your mind about travelling to all those places that you have been dreaming about.